We’ve all had the experience where we feel our Destiny is calling, but there is a voice inside of our heads that tells us all the reasons why what we want is ridiculous, impossible or down right presumptuous. ANTs, as I call them, or Automatic Negative Thoughts will always rise. There is a part of our brain that controls reproductive drive, rage, fear and the ever so famous “fight or flight” mechanism. You may have heard of this “reptilian” or “lizard” brain, as it is so commonly called, as it has a lot to do with why we tend to self sabotage ourselves and end up being walking contradictions. We say “This is the month I’ll get healthy”, yet we don’t start an exercise routine nor do we change our eating habits. We say we want to start reading books again, but never carve out time and end up feeling frustrated with ourselves. As intelligent human being you can’t seem to understand, why you can’t just Do the thing you said you were going to DO! That, ladies and gentlemen, is the reptilian brain at work. Oh, did I mention that the reptilian brain is responsible for the avoidance of pain? Yeah, some of you are already making the connection.
You may be asking, “what are you talking about!? Ants? Lizards? Reptiles? I don’t get it”. Let me paint a picture to connect the dots. Say you want to quit your job and become a writer. You get all fired up, maybe even create a strategic exit plan and have the title of your first best-selling book. The week it’s time for you to quit, those ANTs start creeping in. “Are you smart enough for this?”, “Who do you think you are, don’t you think everyone wants to quit their job?, “You have bills to pay, is writing going to pay the bills right away?”. Those ANTs are Agents of the Reptilian brain. Remember, it’s job is avoid pain, and usually by the means of fear. You Reptilian brain tells you, “I’m trying to make sure we don’t get into a sticky situation, you have bills, you didn’t finish college and you’re better off just going along with the crowd. That’s the path of least resistance, and a way to avoid pain!”. That sounds about right, so you forget your “dreamy” little plan and drag yourself to work, living only for the weekends and never walking in your destiny.
Sound familiar? Some of you may be saying, “Well yeah, that sounds about right and that is the logical response, what’s wrong with that?”. Well, what I say is that the Reptilian brain is the oldest part of our brain, or in other words the least evolved. If we only followed our reptilian brain we would be worried only about those basic needs like animals in the wild. We would also constantly be stuck in a state of what could happen instead of what is actually happening. The good news is as we humans have evolved, we have developed a higher Consciousness. What Consciousness allows us to do is differentiate between the messages our Reptilian brain is telling us and what is going on in our hearts. So while it’s true to quit your job is a risky move, it doesn’t automatically mean your sure to meet destruction at month’s end as it would have you believe. No, Consciousness allows us to know we are not our thoughts, we are the Being thinking those thoughts, which is very different.
So How Do You Snap Out of It?
When those thoughts come up and you feel yourself having the nervous, anxious physical response, redirect your thoughts to the awareness that those thoughts represent the Reptilian brain, which does not take into account all the information that is available to you. You will be better served focusing on thoughts that encourage, empower and energize you. With those thoughts you will be able to view your situation with a new perspective, that will allow you to move forward finding the solutions to the situation rather than reacting to what ifs of the situation.
- What do you do when ANTs attack? How do you keep your Reptilian Brain at bay?
(credits: photo 1: http://blog.gardenharvestsupply.com/, photo 2: www.bibliotecapleyades.net, photo 3: paleodietrecipe.net, photo 4: http://pursuitofhappy.com/)